Métis heritage canoe excursion on River Canard

MNO Windsor-Essex Council visits War of 1812 sites

Submitted by: Donna Grayer, MNO Windsor-Essex Métis Council Women’s Representative

River Canard 2
MNO Windsor-Essex Chair Jon Rochon with daughter and others.

On June 2, members of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Windsor-Essex Métis Council embarked on a heritage canoe excursion that focused on the War of 1812 in the hamlet of River Canard.

Organized by Donna Grayer, the trip was guided by the River Canard Canoe Company. All ages enjoyed the scenery, history lessons, stories and laughs; sometimes at the expense of the tipped canoe riders.

River Canard was the site of an engagement between British and American forces during the War of 1812. The sites visited featured actors who enacted the battle style of the British and Americans and told stories of the Métis and First Nations and their contributions to the war. There was a stop at a burial ground and a historically marked skirmish.

The excursion was set up as a scouting trip of 30 attendants from all generations. Each council member who attended brought along their children or grandchildren as guests and shared stories about canoeing and Métis culture and heritage.

River Canard 1
MNO Windsor-Essex council members and their family members who
participated in the excursion.

MNO Windsor-Essex council members in attendance were Senator Bob LeBoeuf, Secretary Sue LeBoeuf-Morency, Councillor Wilfred Rochon, Chair Jon Rochon and Women’s Representative Donna Grayer.

“It was a day enjoyed by all with talks of another one and with invites going deeper into our local Métis community,” said Donna Grayer.

There is progress being made in finding local Métis history/settlements as more families trace their roots and are able to share their stories and paper work. Senator LeBoeuf was able to share his family’s history and fill in a few gaps for the tour guide who plans to use Senator LeBoeuf’s stories in the future.

River Canard is a hamlet of roughly 500 people in the northern part of Amherstburg, Ontario and the southern part of LaSalle, Ontario. It is approximately 12 miles south of Windsor, ON, situated on the Canard River.

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